October 18th, 2011

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Strictly Come Dancing

... Has become a two horse race very early on this series. The two horses being Jason Donovan and Harry Judd, both of whose routines were truly exceptional this week, especially considering how early on into the series we are at present.

I have already declared my allegiance ... Jason Donovan. As Craig siad, "Stupendous"!

I also want to give a shout out to the cast of "Footloose" - they quite literally lit up the results show this Sunday. Footloose was one of my top tips from the Empire Big Screen and is here:
Footloose has been out on general release across the UK from Friday 14 October. I will be going to see it this week and I cannot wait!

Follow the link to the official BBC website:
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Photo credit: http://coriolanus-movie-trailer.blogspot.com/

Given that Ralph Fiennes was one of the first actors that I followed religiously, and that I am fiercely loyal to him, as well as madly passionate about his work, I want to do his film Coriolanus full justice, as I did for Benedict's yesterday.

So my review of Coriolanus will be up on the blog at some point tomorrow. In the meantime, I give you a key speech from Coriolanus, Act III Scene III:


You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.

Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators, and Patricians
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The Afiya Trust: White Psychiatric Interpretations of Black Psychosis

Photo: David Bennett
Photo credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1454134/Patients-death-reveals-festering-NHS-racism.html

An independent inquiry report published in February 2004 looking into the "unnecessary and tragic" death of a black man (David Bennett) restrained at a secure clinic in Norwich concluded that institutional racism was rife throughout the mental health service of the NHS. The inquiry said that institutional racism was "a festering abscess, a blot on the good name of the NHS". Black patients are wrongly perceived as being "aggressive to start with", and frequently put on higher doses of anti-psychotic drugs than Caucasians, the inquiry team said.

I did an MSc in Race and Ethnic Relations at Birkbeck College, University of London, which I completed in 2004 and I had to write a dissertation as part of my MSc. The Afiya Trust has now published a synopsis of my dissertation - White Psychiatric Interpretations of Black Psychosis: A Comparative Study of Colonial Africa and Modern-Day Britain. The dissertation looked at how white (and in particular British) psychiatrists and psychologists in colonial Africa and modern-day Britain have interpreted black psychosis.

Cut and pasted from The Afiya Trust website:

The Afiya Trust is a national charity that works to reduce inequalities in health and social care provision for people from racialised communities.

Established as a charity in 1997 within The King's Fund, and independent since 2001, they liaise and work with central government departments and policy makers to ensure health inequalities facing racialised communities in Britain are tackled and alleviated. The word ‘Afiya' translates as ‘good health' or ‘wellbeing' in several African, Arabic and South Asian languages, and encapsulates the ultimate change Afiya seeks to bring about on behalf of its constituencies.

The synopsis of my dissertation has been published on The Afiya Trust's new social networking portal "Backchat" and is here:

The Afiya Trust are here:

Happy reading!
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55th BFI London Film Festival: Dreams of a Life

I saw Dreams of a Life today. It is billed as the intriguing story of a young woman discovered in a London flat three years after her death and is here:
In 2006 a woman's skeleton was found in a London flat. The woman, identified as Joyce Carol Vincent, had been dead for three years.

Photo credit: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/node/1671

I can write this film up very briefly and quickly. Joyce Vincent was the same as me and many of the people I know - a single woman in her 30s/40s, with no husband/partner or children, living and working in London, but with a family (parents and siblings) and a wide and diverse network of friends, whom she had met through work and other social activities. She was outgoing, fun, attractive and popular. But in 2003 she died alone in her bedsit and no one noticed that she was now missing and absent from their lives. She was only found three years later when the police broke into her flat to repossess it due to mounting rent arrears.

The thought this prompted in me is exactly what kind of society are we living in when someone like Joyce can just die and vanish from the lives of her family and her friends and no one notices and (seemingly) no one cares?

Also, could this happen to me?!